Policies for Administration of University of California Archives

Prepared by the UC Archivists Council
Revised September 17, 2019

I. Statement of Purpose

II. Administrative Mandate

III. Uses and Users

IV. Collecting Scope

V. Copyright

VI. Deaccessioning & Reformatting

VII. Access

VIII. Campus Collection Development Policies

IX. Review of This Policy


Appendix I. Campus-Level Core Administrative Records

Appendix II. UC Faculty Papers: Identification and Appraisal

Appendix III. California Public Records Act Guidelines for Compliance

These policies are intended for use by University of California (UC) archivists, library staff, records managers, and other administrators. They are developed and revised by the UC Archivists Council CKG, and reviewed by the UC Records Management Committee and the UC Heads of Special Collections CKG.

I. Statement of Purpose

UC archivists are responsible for the collection, preservation, management and use of inactive UC records of enduring value generated at the campus and system wide levels.

Each UC campus has one or more representatives to the University of California Archivists Council Common Knowledge Group (UCAC CKG). In collaboration with UC records managers: UCAC monitors the university-wide records management program; reviews UC records disposition schedules; and identifies UC records to be designated as permanent and/or archival within the schedules. UCAC also monitors other pertinent UC records policies. 1

UCAC members work together to coordinate campus-level policies and practices as they apply to UC records.

II. Administrative Mandate

In 1963 UC President Clark Kerr established a system wide UC records management program to manage the increasing volume of university records and to ensure the preservation of recordsof historical importance. In 1964 the University Librarians were instructed to establish a university archives and appoint a university archivist for each UC campus.

UC archives are intended to support UC’s commitment to instruction, research, and public service as stated in the Master Plan (1960) and in A Review of the University of California, a multi-campus System in the 1980’s. 2

University of California ownership of its administrative records was affirmed by UC Vice President Earl C. Bolton in a letter dated October 31, 1969, as follows:

“With respect to [administrative records of] all of its officers and employees, including members of the faculty, whose regular or occasional performance of administrative duties puts them in possession of files, records, or documents pertaining to such duties, such files, records, or documents, including but not limited to correspondence, reports, writings, and other papers, records, maps, tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic and punched cards, discs and drums, are the property of The Regents of the University of California, and, as such, may not be permanently removed from the University nor destroyed except in accordance with disposition schedules established by the University Records Management Committee.” 3

III. Uses and Users

UC-affiliated persons are the primary clientele of UC archives. Typical uses and users of archival records include:

  • University administration
  • Faculty and student research
  • Curriculum development and instruction
  • Public relations and public information
  • Public transparency and accountability
  • University development
  • University publications
  • Exhibition programs

Access is also provided to alumni, non-UC researchers, and the general public. (see Section VII. Access)

IV. Collecting Scope

Each UC archives collects, preserves, administers, and provides access to selected inactive campus records that have enduring administrative, legal, historical or research value. 4 In most cases these materials are public records; they document the history, policies, and procedures of the campus. Many records designated as permanent and/or archival are unique (i.e., only one copy exists). Information about which categories of records are considered permanently valuable can be found in the UC Records Retention Schedule.

In general, records designated archival remain in the custody of their office of origin until they are no longer actively needed for business purposes. At that time, custody of the records is transferred to the archives.

Relevant materials in any format are eligible for inclusion in UC archives including: paper-based materials, audio recordings, microform, film, digital files (including email), maps, photographs, and architectural drawings.

UC archives do not collect all university records, but primarily those records documenting the university’s decision-making process and the essential cultural history of each campus.

IV.A. Identification and Appraisal

UC records managers and archivists work together to establish disposition schedules that identify categories of records of enduring value for permanent retention, for transfer to archives, or for consideration for disposal; these schedules are found on the University of California Records Retention Schedule website (https://recordsretention.ucop.edu/).5 Record categories are selected for permanent retention through a process of analysis called “appraisal” which evaluates the long-term value of records. As a result, records are selected for retention that best document the functions of the university: to convey knowledge; to foster socialization; to conduct research; and to sustain (support) the institution. 6

In addition, each campus archives collects materials that have permanent historical value and are not officially designated for the archives in the Records Disposition Schedules. Sources for these materials include administrative offices, faculty, staff, students and university support groups.

IV.A.1. Core Campus Records

UC archives attempt to acquire and preserve, at a minimum, a “core” set of records that document a campus’ programs and activities. (See Appendix I, UC Campus-Level Core Administrative Records) The records of executive administrators generally are emphasized over those of subordinates.

IV.A.2. Faculty Papers

Faculty papers can be rich resources of university history in addition to documenting the careers of individuals. All UC campuses collect faculty papers selectively and administer them either as university archives or as manuscript collections. (See Appendix II, UC Faculty Papers: Identification and Appraisal)

IV.A.3. Systemwide Records

Records generated by system-wide entities such as the UC Regents, the Office of the President (UCOP), the Academic Senate, and the Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC) are collected by the University Archives at UC Berkeley. Other UC campus archives generally do not acquire system-wide records. 7

IV.B. Materials Excluded

Many records, publications, and data generated by UC offices and personnel do not fall within the mandate of UC archives. Each archives is authorized to identify materials that do not merit permanent retention. Examples include: scholarly publications of individual faculty members; records generated by scholarly conferences held at UC campuses but not relating to UC business; and journals or technical reports published at UC campuses that do not document UC activities.

In general, UC archives will not collect individual student academic or disciplinary records, or records related to individual personnel matters.  In instances where these records are archived, their access is restricted based on the requirements of FERPA.  However, records that contain aggregate data about students and personnel can be included.

Records that have permanent restrictions on access generally are retained by the office of record and are not transferred to the UC campus archives.

V. Copyright

Copyright for UC records is held by the Regents of the University of California. Administration of UC records by each archives must comply with the policies stated in the University of California Policy on Copyright Ownership. 8

VI. Deaccessioning & Reformatting

Records without permanent retention periods may be deaccessioned (i.e., permanently removed) from a UC archives if the archivist determines that they are no longer of enduring value, are duplicative of other records in the archives, or are available in another format. The archivist may choose to contact the office of origin to determine if the deaccessioned records should be returned or destroyed, but this is not required.

VII. Access

Access policies are determined by each archivist in compliance with the California Public Records Act (CPRA) 9 and professional guidelines. 10 Access to some records is restricted, usually for a specific period of time, when they fall under CPRA exclusions. (See Appendix III, California Public Records Act. Guidelines for Compliance.)

Access to records which remain in a campus office is provided by that office, consistent with the California Public Records Act and Information Practices Act 11 or as coordinated by the campus Information Practices Officer.

Access to original records may be denied if the material is too fragile to be handled safely. Each archives makes reasonable efforts to provide timely access to the intellectual information contained in the materials by reformatting (such as photocopying, creating a microform, or digitization).

VIII. Campus Collection Development Policies

The collection development statement for each UC campus archives should comply with this Policy. Each campus promulgates its local policy for archival campus records in collaboration with other UC campuses by means of a coordinated approach to identification and appraisal. UCAC takes the lead in this activity.

IX. Review of This Policy

This policy is periodically reviewed by UCAC CKG in consultation with the UC Heads of Special Collections CKG and the University Records Management Committee.

2001 Apr. 25/cbbrown, dday, jmdooley;

rev. 2005 June 6; rev. 2005 Oct 21

rev. 2019 January 16


1 “Roles and Responsibilities” (Section IV). Records retention and disposition: principles, processes, and guidelines. UC Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-2 (November 2015). https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/7020454/BFB-RMP-2 . For a complete list of RMP series bulletins see: www.ucop.edu/ucophome/policies/bfb/

2 A Master Plan for Higher Education in California, 1960-1975. Sacramento: California State Department of Education, 1960. pp. 36-37. Charles R. Adrian et. al. A review of The University of California, a multi-campus System in the 1980’s. Riverside: University of California, 1979.

3 “Policy statement on ownership of administrative records issued by [UC] Vice President [Earl C.] Bolton, October 31, 1969.” (Section I. References). University Records Management Program. UC Business and Finance Bulletin RMP-1 (November 2015). https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/7020453/BFB-RMP-1

4 Standard archival practice incorporates T. R. Schellenberg’s appraisal theory of primary and secondary values in records: primary values include administrative value, legal value and fiscal value; secondary values include evidential value and informational value. See also F. Gerald Ham. Selecting and Appraising Archives and Manuscripts [Archival Fundamental Series]. Society of American Archivists. (Chicago, 1993) for a discussion of Schellenberg.

5 In May 2012, the UC Records Management Committee initiated a revision of the University of California Records Retention Schedule.

6 Institutional functions analyzed during the appraisal process are discussed in: Helen Willa Samuels. Varsity letters: documenting modern colleges and universities. Society of American Archivists (Scarecrow Press, 1992)

7 On occasion, and in consultation with the University Archives at UC Berkeley, campus archives collect the records of UC systemwide offices located on their campus.

8 University of California Policy on Copyright Ownership (1992 August 19). http://copyright.universityofcalifornia.edu/resources/copyright-ownership.html

9 State of California Public Records Act (Gov. Code Section 6250 et seq.) https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&division=7.&title=1.&part=&chapter=3.5.&article=1

10 Association of College & Research Libraries and Society of American Archivists. Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries, ALA-SAA Joint Statement on. (June 2009). https://www2.archivists.org/statements/alasaa-joint-statement-on-access-to-research-materials-in-archives-and-special-collection

11 “California Information Practices Act of 1977 (Civil Code Section 1798 et. seq.)” (Section VII). Legal Requirements on Privacy of and Access to Information. UC Ethics, Compliance, and Audit Services. https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/7020463/BFB-RMP-8

Campus-Level Core Administrative Records

Appendix I.

The UC Archivists Council has developed the following list of campus-level core records. It describes the minimum set of record types that a UC archives should strive to collect in order to fulfill its institutional mandate. These records should be inactive and have enduring administrative, legal, historical or research value; they may be collected in any format deemed acceptable. This list provides guidance to those assessing the content of collections and selecting items for transfer to and retention in the University Archives. Additional information may be gained from the University of California Records Disposition Schedule Manual.

Administrative Records

  • University Administrators, including Chancellor’s Office, Vice-Chancellors, Provosts, and Deans (including correspondence, organization charts, minutes of meetings, annual reports, calendars)
  • Facilities and Planning (planning documents; “as-built” drawings)
  • Academic Senate (including educational planning committee)
  • Contracts and Grants (annual reports)
  • Registrar (Note: vital records not necessarily retained in University Archives)
  • Accreditation documentation
  • Founding and incorporation documents

Non-administrative Records

  • Associated Students (bylaws, minutes, founding documents)
  • Student organizations with a substantial impact on campus
  • Bio-Bibliographies and curriculum vitae of faculty (see Appendix II. UC Faculty Papers)


  • Catalogs
  • Directories
  • Student newspaper
  • Yearbooks
  • Personnel manuals
  • Faculty and staff handbooks
  • Administrative websites

Non-textual materials

  • Photographs
  • Audiovisual recordings
  • Campus maps

UC Faculty Papers: Identification and Appraisal

Appendix II.

The following guidelines describe the mission of the institutional archives on the University of California (UC) campuses to document the professional lives of selected faculty members and the considerations that enter into the selection process. They are intended for use by UC archivists, library staff, and other administrators. They are developed and revised by the UC Archivists Council CKG, and reviewed by the UC Headsof Special Collections CKG. The guidelines are to be used in tandem with the Policies for Administration of University of California Archives.


University of California archives are intended to support UC’s commitment to instruction,research, and public service as stated in the Master Plan for Higher Education in California (1960) and in A Review of the University of California, a multi-campus Systemin the 1980s (1979)

Faculty papers contain significant information on teaching, research, and professional and administrative activities, areas through which researchers can gain a valuable perspective on the intellectual vitality of the university community. They can be rich resources of university history, in addition to documenting the careers of individuals. EachUC campus collects faculty papers selectively and administers them either as university archives or as manuscript collections. Ideally, faculty paper collections should be housed at a single repository.

2. Collection Objectives:

By collecting faculty papers, the University Archives strives to document the role, functions, and activities of representative faculty members:

  • within the context of each campus
  • within the context of UC history
  • with respect to current and anticipated national/international research
  • with respect to service to community, state, national and/or international organizations
  • with respect to underrepresented communities and subject areas

3.Materials Collected:

The types of materials collected, in any format, include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • correspondence
  • social media communications
  • grant proposals and reports
  • drafts of significant publications
  • administrative records of department chairs, and institute and center directors
  • records of committees that the faculty member chaired
  • policy documents
  • speeches and lectures
  • course syllabi
  • pictorial images, including photographs, slides, illustrations
  • audiovisual recordings
  • research notes and data
  • biographical materials
  • oral histories

Materials Generally Not Collected:

In general, University Archives do not collect the following:

  • student records
  • patient files
  • reprints and pre-prints
  • equipment and software instructions
  • duplicative or redundant material
  • artifacts, objects, plaques
  • peer-review files for journals and publications
  • federal records that fall under the purview of the US National Archives andRecords Administration (NARA)

A campus archives may wish to collect some of these materials depending on circumstances. The inclusion of such materials is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the quality of the materials, their significance to the collection and to the faculty member’s body of work, and context.

Appraisal Criteria:

The UC Archives acquire faculty papers selectively while also striving to document the diversity of faculty members’ backgrounds, perspectives, and research interests. For determining the significance of a faculty member’s body of work, the following criteria are applied:

Is the individual known internationally or nationally for any of the following:

  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on major historical event
  • recipient of significant award [e.g. Field Medal, Nobel, Lasker, Pritzker, Wolf, Kyoto,Pulitzer, Guggenheim, MacArthur, etc.]
  • established new area of research
  • appointment to cabinet-level office [federal]
  • appointment to significant national or international organization [e.g. National Academy of Sciences]
  • designation as “fellow” within relevant professional society
  • top honor (medal, prize) within relevant professional society
  • significant patents/inventions

Is the individual important to the history of the region of California or the western United States, or a local area, for any of the following:

  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on a major historical event
  • appointment to/service within significant state/county/municipal office/organization

Is the individual’s role in the history of UC and the campus one or more of the following:

  • participant in/eyewitness to or commentator on a major historical event
  • UC Presidential Chair [faculty designation]
  • emeritus/emerita status
  • first to teach subject on campus
  • established new curriculum, department, or program on campus
  • significant service within campus [department chair, provost, dean]

Other indicators that an individual’s body of work is significant:

  • recipient of significant research grants

Additional considerations:

  • intellectual content
  • comprehensive collecting in subject already established/being established on campus
  • faculty member has completed an oral history interview
  • master reprint file publications not available (nationally, internationally)

5. Factors that may weigh against accepting papers:

(these may apply to an entire collection or to a portion of a collection)

  • identifiable portion of papers will be restricted or closed, or long-term restrictionsplaced by faculty member and/or family
  • portions of papers are held by another archival repository
  • photocopies/microforms/digital surrogates of materials that have already been donatedelsewhere
  • portion of career spent at other UC or elsewhere
  • unwillingness of donor to transfer physical ownership of papers

6. Strategies for identifying appropriate faculty:

  • mention in publications [UC announcements, Chronicle of Higher Education, articles inmajor U.S. newspapers, book reviews]
  • recipient of significant award [e.g. Field Medal, Nobel, Lasker, Pritzker, Wolf, Kyoto,Pulitzer, Guggenheim, MacArthur, etc.]
  • referrals from subject specialists, faculty colleagues and affinity groups.

7. Copyright:

  • Copyright may be held by the individual faculty member, the UC Regents, or otherrights holders. The disposition of copyright retained by a donor may be a factor in theacquisition decision.

8. Administration of faculty papers:

  • Papers may be designated either manuscript or archival, depending on particularinstitutional practices.

9. Bibliography:

Budd, John M. “Faculty Publishing Productivity…” College & Research Libraries 56:6 (Nov. 1995): 547-554.

Budd, John M. “Increases in Faculty Publishing Activity…” College & Research Libraries 60:4 (July 1999): 308-311.

Burckel, Nicholas (ed.) College and University Archives: Selected Readings. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1979. [A revised edition of this work will be forthcoming from SAA.]

Case, Beau David. “The Acquisition of Faculty Member Publications at Their University Libraries.” Library Resources and Technical Services 44:2 (2000 April): 84-91.

The College and University Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists. Guidelines for College and University Archives (1999). Available at http://www.archivists.org/governance/guidelines/cu_guidelines.asp (accessed March 2006).

Honhart, Frederick. “The Solicitation, Appraisal, and Acquisition of Faculty Papers.” College and Research Libraries 45 (May 1983): 236-241.

Hyry, Tom, Diane Kaplan, and Christine Weideman. “‘Though This Be Madness, yet Thereis Method in ‘t'”: Assessing the Value of Faculty Papers and Defining a Collection Policy.” American Archivist 65:1 (Spring/Summer 2002): 56-69.

Laver, Tara Zachary. “In a Class by Themselves: Faculty Papers at Research Archives and Manuscript Repositories.” American Archivist 66:1 (Spring/Summer 2003): 159-196.Maher, William J. The Management of College and University Archives. Lanham, Md., andLondon: The Society of American Archivists and The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1992.

Robyns, Marcus C. Using Functional Analysis in Archival Appraisal: A Practical and Effective Alternative to Traditional Appraisal Methodologies. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2014.

Samuels, Helen Willa. Varsity Letters: Documenting Modern Colleges and Universities. Lanham, Md., and London: The Society of American Archivists and The Scarecrow Press,Inc., 1998, c1992.

Schmidt, Gregory and Law, Michael, “Functional Analysis and the Reappraisal of Faculty Papers,” Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists 27 no. 1 (2009). https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/vol27/iss1/6

Su, Mila C. “Women Coaches, Personal Papers, and University Archives Collections: A Case Study.” Archival Issues 20:2 (1995): 155-165.

Wolff, Jane. “Faculty Papers and Special-Subject Repositories.” American Archivist 44:4 (Fall 1981): 346-351.

Bentley Historical Library (2005 Apr 18)
Columbia University Archives – Faculty Papers
Tufts University Digital Collections and Archives – Collection Policy for Faculty Papers
UW Archives and Records Management – Faculty Papers